Brooklyn Paper Ponders Brooklyn Bridge “Park” Plan

The Brooklyn Paper weighs in on the latest scheme to fund Brooklyn Bridge Park:

Brooklyn Paper: The deal calls for the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society’s holdings in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO to be rezoned for residential use — a change that real-estate experts believe will send the value of the Society’s properties well north of $1 billion.

“If they put them on the market now, they’ll be sold very quickly,” said Downtown real-estate broker Chris Havens.

The deal between Mayor Bloomberg and state officials will reduce the amount of luxury condos inside Brooklyn Bridge Park by capturing property taxes from the Watchtower properties after they are sold. The money will be diverted from the city general fund to pay for maintaining the world-class park at the foot of two wealthy neighborhoods — and that has green advocates seeing red.

Brooklyn Heights realtor Donald Brennan pondered the worth of the Watchtower portfolio in a BHB guest post last summer.

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  • Livingston

    Interesting. The article makes it sound as if the BBP is BH’s private park, akin to Grammercy w/ the private keys. Last time I looked, people are coming from different parts of Brooklyn and the city to enjoy it. Sounds like they’re trying to instigate a little class warfare with the neighborhood moniker being the proxy.

  • David on Middagh

    It’s a very fancy park. Of course I like it. Tourbusloads of people are enjoying it.
    And yet, how far the plan has come from basic, open green space.

    You start out wanting a nice green lawn looking out over the water, for sitting, for games. Then you need a sound barrier for the expressway, of course, and a boat launch because the water is *right there* after all (let’s add a wetlands, too), and a fenced off area for toddlers is a good idea (with appropriate swings and clambering apparatus), and benches and shrubbery would be nice (we will certainly need shade trees, and berry bushes would be nice to line the paths of the hill–did we mention it’s not a flat lawn? It’s more of a topographical sculpture with granite steps on one side), and that should about do it for Pier 1. Oh, there’s a pond, too. Now, about Piers 2 through 6….

  • Curmudgeon

    I agree with Livingston. I smell a [Rupert Murdoch inspired] class war issue here. The Brooklyn Paper (and indeed all of our local freebie papers) are now owned by the infamous News Corporation so we will get a NY Post slant on all local matters.

    If you want to see a park which is really “owned” by the surrounding area, you should visit Battery Park City’s waterfront park. You will feel most unwelcome. And wasn’t that was built with taxpayer funds and bonds?

  • Jorale-man

    I’m curious how they arrived at the $1 billion number for the total cost of the Witness’s buildings. If the big compound was valued at $91 million they must be counting on a significant increase in value when the building eventually goes residential.